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Kendal’s Yards: History and Drinks

Our latest #SecretKendal post comes from Ellie Taylor, a university student who is busy working in and exploring Kendal’s Yards over her summer break. Read on for Ellie’s observations – and recommendations for her favourite Yard-based businesses.

“As a waitress in one of Kendal’s many yards, I’ve learned a lot about their unique history. I work at Yard 46 on Branthwaite Brow, just off the marketplace – Branthwaite Brow was known for its production of cast iron, beer, and chocolate. Yard 46 itself has been a café, a workshop, and even a cottage; it’s first known residents, a couple and their small child, were recorded as living there in 1851. Recently, we had a man in the café tell us about how he used to play in the yard when he was little, which was a lovely story to hear whilst folding napkins!”

Kendal's Yards

“On a Friday, I finish my shift and make plans to meet friends for drinks and dinner at Wainwright’s Yard. I walk up the cobbled street, passing Yard 52. The entrance to this yard is wood-panelled, and it dates back to the 17th century. At the end of the passage is a tailor’s shop, where they did an amazing job of altering my prom dress a few years ago. Across the marketplace is Yard 10, which is called Redmayne’s Yard after its original owner, Alderman Christopher Redman (whose grandfather was the mayor of Kendal in 1649). George Romney, whose work you can see in Kendal Museum, was an apprentice in this yard in 1755. I pass this yard – and all this history – on my way down to meet my friends at Wainwright’s Yard, formerly Yard 28.”

“There’s lots of choice in Wainwright’s Yard, but we decide on cocktails at Slate – my favourite is their Cucumber and Elderflower Collins, a refreshing twist on a Gin and Tonic. If you don’t fancy alcohol, there are plenty of other options, and if I hadn’t had such a long week, I’d go for a peppermint tea! Post-cocktails, we stroll across for dinner at Pizza Express. It’s a sunny evening, so we pick a table outside. Sitting in the sunshine eating pizza, I feel like I’ve earnt it: I’ve just had a whistle-stop history lesson thanks to Kendal’s yards, after all!”

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